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Text Selection and Preferences of EFL Students While Reading on Smartphones

Chen May Oh, Pramela Krish, and Afendi Hamat

Abstract—Reading on smartphones is now a common activity due to the variety of platforms that cater to all kinds of users. The number of texts and range of difficulty levels in the English language are significant for EFL students because they affect their language acquisition efforts. This qualitative case study investigates the types of texts that EFL students engage with on smartphones and the approaches they use to select specific texts to read. Students submitted screen recordings of their smartphone activities and justified their actions through interviews. Findings were thematically reported. The study revealed the kinds of texts students engaged with and how they were selected and evaluated. Students generally avoided texts perceived as challenging but attempted texts with topics that attracted them. These findings shed more light on text features that students seek and create awareness for content creators to produce digital content that is engaging and relevant for educational purposes.

Index Terms—Digital texts, smartphones, text features, reading.

The authors are with the Centre for Research in Language and Linguistics, National University of Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia (e-mail: bm-0180@moe-dl.edu.my, pramela@ukm.edu.my, fendi@ukm.edu.my).

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Copyright © 2022 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2021: 1.3), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Electronic Journals Library, Google Scholar, Crossref, etc.
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net

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